Teaching Piano

Fun tip

Today I just thought I’d share a fun little tip I learned from one of my students this week!  Yes, you read that right: she taught me.  =)  She is a young beginner student, just learning how to read music on the staff.  She informed me that she came up with a way for remembering the note “D” (the one just above Middle C): D is the note that Dangles from the staff.  Clever!  I was so proud of her.  That is a little trick that I will definitely be sharing with my other beginner students.


Just checking in….

Hello all,

Just a brief update for today, as my husband and I are in the middle of moving to a new apartment!  This week’s posts will be not as intensive as usual.  Hopefully, we will be more settled by this weekend, and next week’s posts will return to normal.


  1. If you haven’t already, check out the Discussions page of the Color In My Piano blog facebook page.  A few of you have introduced yourselves there, and I can’t tell you how exciting it is for me to get to learn a little bit about my readers!  Thank you to those who’ve taken the time to post.
  2. Also, if you haven’t already, enter yourself in the free giveaway that ends Thursday, May 27 at midnight!  And feel free to spread the news!  If you’ve entered already, however, you should still take a moment to visit this post to read the great things others have shared in the comments.  Thanks for sharing your memories, tips, and quotes – they are so fun to read. =)
Announcements, Games, Giveaways, Group Classes, Music Camps, Teaching Piano

May 2010 Free Giveaway: Drawing Music Symbols Boards

I am excited to announce the first ever free giveaway on the Color In My Piano blog!  *drumroll…*

THREE lucky winners will each be mailed a pair of laminated boards for learning and drawing music symbols.  (You may recall when I blogged about these boards here. I am keeping my set, of course, but I went back to buy more to share with you!)  These boards have a lot of potential for team games at group lessons or summer piano camps, or can simply be used during the private lesson.  They are two-sided — one side shows the symbols and their names, and the other side lists the names but leaves a blank staff for the student to draw the symbol.  Both sides are laminated to allow use with a dry-erase marker.

Unfortunately, because the prize is such a odd-shaped object and is expensive to ship, this giveaway is limited to readers from the continental U.S. only.

To enter: Continue reading “May 2010 Free Giveaway: Drawing Music Symbols Boards”

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

Practice in minute detail until every note is imbued with internal life and has taken its place in the overall design.

— Pablo Casals (Spanish Catalan cellist and conductor)

Every Wednesday brings Words of Wisdom here at the Color in my Piano blog in the form of a musical quote or joke, intended to bring inspiration or humor to the middle of your week. Have suggestions? Send an email off to admin[at]colorinmypiano.com.

Performances, Printables

Just added: Piano Recital Program Template #2


Today’s free printable is a another template of a piano studio recital program, for listing students’ names and pieces.

Just download this Microsoft Word file (.doc), enter your students’ information, and print!

Click here to view it larger (uneditable).

To download it the .doc file, visit the Printables > Other Resources page and scroll down to “Piano Recital Program Template #2”.

Feel free to edit the document in any way you desire to suite your needs.


improving as a teacher, Resources, Technology

Readers, Introduce Yourself! …on the Color In My Piano facebook page

Get to know the other readers on this blog – please take a moment to introduce yourself on the discussion page of the Color In My Piano facebook page!  There are a few introductions there now, and I’d love to get to know more of you.

To receive blog updates right in your facebook newsfeed, click the “like” button on the facebook page.  It’s a very easy and convenient way to stay updated.  Please give it a try!

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

Music should go right through you, leave some of itself inside you, and take some of you with it when it leaves.

— Henry Threadgill

Every Wednesday brings Words of Wisdom here at the Color in my Piano blog in the form of a musical quote or joke, intended to bring inspiration or humor to the middle of your week. Have suggestions? Send an email off to admin[at]colorinmypiano.com.


Music-Related Pet Names

My husband and I recently rescued a cat (pictured at right)!  We spent a lot of time thinking up a name for her.  I wanted to give her a music related name, but as it turned out, we ended up agreeing to name her “Kira.”  But for any of you who might wish to give your pet a musical name, I’ve compiled a long list of my favorites!

Edit: We adopted a second cat! Guess what: we named her Coda. :) 


  • Kawai
  • Steinway
  • Story & Clark (cute names for a pair of cats)
  • Mason & Hamlin
  • Schimmel
  • Yamaha
  • Bosendorfer
  • Fazioli

Tempo & Style Markings

improving as a teacher, Studio Business

Building Your Studio: How to Inform Parents About Your Tuition Rates

When you get a phone call from an parent of a potential student asking about studio information, should you inform potential students of your rates first, or should you tell them about your studio first?

I know a fellow teacher who does not answer the “rates question” – even when specially asked about it – until the end of the phone call, after she has told them about everything her studio offers.  She chooses to emphasize the quality of the music education she offers in her studio before informing the parent of the rates.   Not a bad idea!

Other teachers are very upfront and prefer to tell parents their rates first thing.  There is no harm in either method.  Personally, I am somewhere in the middle.  Unless specifically asked, I save the rates information until the end.  Regardless of where you stand, it’s a good idea to plan in advance how you are going to deal with the “rates question” when the potential student calls.

How do you like to handle the “rates question”?

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/publicdomainphotos/ / CC BY 2.0

improving as a teacher, Studio Business

Building Your Studio: Offer Free Trial Lesson, and Have References Ready!

A few months ago, I received a call from a parent who was looking for lessons for her two daughters.  She was a little reluctant to commit to lessons because of a past experience with another teacher: the teacher was an excellent performer, but unfortunately not as great of a teacher.  I chatted with her for a few minutes and I told her about my studio and my teaching experience.  Then I offered to give her a trial lesson for free, so she could see for herself what my teaching style is like.  She agreed to this, and afterwards, was happy to commit to lessons.  We’ve been continuing ever since.

At her daughter’s lesson this week, the same parent kindly offered (with no request on my part) to be a reference or write a letter of recommendation should I ever need one.  When she said this, I realized that having a reference or two (from other happy parents) ready to give her would have been a another great way for her to learn about my teaching style and personality — and it would have been much more convincing than hearing it from me!

Lessons learned: DO offer a free interview/first lesson, and DO have references ready to give out!  =)

Click here to read ideas for activities to do with the student at the first free trial lesson and click here for some free printables for use during the first trial lesson.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephenliveshere/ / CC BY-SA 2.0